OPEN Foundation

Spirituality

The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead

The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert. Penguin Books. ISBN: 978-0141189635

The authors process the concepts of death and rebirth presented in Tibetan Book of the Dead as a metaphor for the experience of ego death or depersonalization that is commonly experienced under the influence of psychedelic drugs. The book also describes broadening spiritual consciousness through a combination of Tibetan meditation techniques and psychotropic substances.

Buy this book through bookdepository.com and support the OPEN Foundation

LSD Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Psychedelic Medicine

LSD Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Psychedelic Medicine. Stanislav Grof. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). ISBN: 978-0979862205

Drawing on his 1960’s studies of LSD-assisted psychotherapy, Grof outlines a new cartography of the human mind, one which accounts for experiences such as shamanic trance, near-death experiences and altered states of consciousness. This vision is also the foundation for Dr. Grof’s revolutionary new Holotropic Breathwork.

Buy this book through bookdepository.com and support the OPEN Foundation

LSD, my problem child

LSD, My Problem Child. Albert Hofmann. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0198840206

In a highly candid and personal account, the father of LSD details the history of his “problem child” and his long and fruitful career as a research chemist. An essential read for anyone wanting to learn about how LSD originated and Hofmann’s view on its transition to recreational use.

Buy this book through bookdepository.com and support the OPEN Foundation

True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise

True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise. Terence McKenna. Ebury Publishing. ISBN: 978-1846044250

McKenna recounts a psychedelic journey in the Colombian Amazon with his brother. 

Buy this book through bookdepository.com and support the OPEN Foundation

Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers

Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers. Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hoffman and Christian Rätsch. Healing Arts Press. ISBN: 978-0892819799

Ritual uses of psychoactive plants; detail the uses of hallucinogens in sacred shamanic rites while providing lucid explanations of the biochemistry of these plants and the cultural prayers, songs, and dances associated with them

Buy this book through bookdepository.com and support the OPEN Foundation

Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism

Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism. Daniel Pinchbeck. Broadway Books. ISBN: 978-0767907439

Daniel Pinchbeck tells the story of the encounters between the modern consciousness of the West and psychedelic substances, including thinkers like Allen Ginsberg, Antonin Artaud, Walter Benjamin, and Terence McKenna, and the new wave present-day ethnobotanists, chemists, psychonauts and philosophers.

Buy this book through bookdepository.com and support the OPEN Foundation

The Acid Diaries: A Psychonaut’s Guide to the History and Use of LSD

The Acid Diaries: A Psychonaut’s Guide to the History and Use of LSD. Christopher Gray. Inner Traditions Bear and Company. ISBN: 978-1594773839

Details his experimentation with LSD over a period of three years and shares the startling realization that his visions were weaving an ongoing story from trip to trip. Gray makes the case that trips follow three stages. The first deals with personal issues and pre-birth consciousness; the second with ego-loss and the third with sacred and spiritual themes.

Buy this book through bookdepository.com and support the OPEN Foundation

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys. James Fadiman. Inner Traditions Bear and Company. ISBN: 978-1594774027

In this psychdelic handbook, Fadiman outlines best practice for psychedelic journeys (both low and high dose) as well as reviewing lesser known research topics such as  psycho- therapeutic value of visionary drug use for increased personal awareness and a host of serious medical conditions. This book will be interesting for anyone looking for a more practical guide with some contextual information. 

Buy this book through bookdepository.com and support the OPEN Foundation

When Plants Dream: Ayahuasca, Amazonian Shamanism and the Global Psychedelic Renaissance

When Plants Dream: Ayahuasca, Amazonian Shamanism and the Global Psychedelic Renaissance. David Pinchbeck. Watkins Publishing. ISBN: 9781786780799

Focusing specifically on Ayahuasca, the authors look at the economic, social, political, cultural, and environmental impact that this plant is having on society, both good and bad. This is the first book of its kind to look at the science and expanding culture of ayahuasca, from its historical use to its appropriation by the West and the impact it is having on cultures beyond the Amazon.

Buy this book through bookdepository.com and support the OPEN Foundation

Risk assessment of ayahuasca use in a religious context: self-reported risk factors and adverse effects

Abstract

Objective: Whether for spiritual, recreational, or potential therapeutic use, interest in ayahuasca has grown remarkably. Ayahuasca’s main active substances are N,N-dimethyltryptamine and certain monoamine oxidase inhibitor β-carbolines. Possible drug interactions are a major concern, and research is lacking in this area. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety of ritual ayahuasca use regarding adverse effects and risk factors.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, ayahuasca users from a religious institution answered an online questionnaire about its safety. Adverse effects, safety measures, and possible risk factors (psychiatric diagnosis and medications) were investigated.

Results: The most frequent adverse effects among the 614 participants were transient gastrointestinal effects (nausea and vomiting). Fifty participants self-reported a psychiatric diagnosis (depression and anxiety were the most prevalent), and these participants experienced adverse effects more frequently. Psychiatric medication use was reported by 31 participants. No indication of increased adverse effects due to drug-drug interactions was found.

Conclusion: A minority of participants reported being very negatively affected by persistent adverse effects. Psychiatric medication use while participating in ayahuasca rituals was not associated with increased adverse effects. For the most part, the institution’s practices seem sufficient to prevent exacerbated reactions. Future studies may focus on negatively affected users.

Durante, Í., Dos Santos, R. G., Bouso, J. C., & Hallak, J. E. (2021). Risk assessment of ayahuasca use in a religious context: self-reported risk factors and adverse effects. Revista brasileira de psiquiatria (Sao Paulo, Brazil : 1999), 43(4), 362–369. https://doi.org/10.1590/1516-4446-2020-0913

Link to full text